The trend for using facial oils has grown enormously in recent years. Not so long ago most of us wouldn’t dream of smearing our faces in pure oil for fear of our skin resembling an oil slick.
The benefits of using a facial oil are many and include plumping skin, improving skin tolerance and providing free radical protection. It’s an impressive list of benefits and there are many others.
Oils contain essential fatty acids and a whole host of vitamins to feed and nourish your skin with natural goodness. Glowing, fresh and healthy skin anyone?
Oils are extremely versatile too because they can be used as moisturisers and cleansers and they are very effective for hair hydration. Oils are fabulous multitaskers and you might even be able to reduce the number of products that you use in your beauty regimen.
My first venture into the world of facial oils was with argan-oil and this is my first true oil love. Argan oil is produced from the kernels of the argan tree which is native to Morocco. You may have seen the images of the goats in the argan trees circulating online. The goats play a part in the production process of the oil because they eat the fruit but they can’t digest the nut so they are collected from the ground afterwards. The kernels are then cold pressed to extract the oil which is rich in Omega fatty acids and vitamin E. Wonderful ingredients for improving skin elasticity and locking in moisture.
The next oil on my list is prickly pear seed oil which is perhaps one of the most expensive beauty oils in the world. The oil is extracted from the fruit of a cactus plant called the Opuntia ficus-india. The plant is native to Mexico and can now be found growing in other arid and semi-arid climates such as Morocco and Spain. I have seen an abundance of these cactus plants growing in Southern Spain and the fruit is sold at street markets. I haven’t tried the fruit but I believe it has a taste similar to watermelon. The oil itself is extracted from seeds within the fruit and it has a high concentration of vitamin E and essential fatty acids. It is recommended as a night serum and is very easily absorbed by the skin.
Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax that is extracted from the nut of the Jojoba plant. The shrub is native to Arizona, California and Utah. The Native Americans used the nut as a paste for both skin and hair to heal and condition. Jojoba oil is an oil that many say most closely resembles human sebum. Because of this similarity it can be used as a cleanser and moisturiser to help reduce sebum production. It also has natural anti-bacterial properties.
Rice Bran oil has been used for centuries by Japanese women to keep their skin satin smooth. It is extracted from the husk of rice and is full of antioxidants, vitamins and natural emollients. It is a great natural alternative to petroleum based emollients. Rice bran oil also contains squalene which helps the skin to naturally regenerate itself leading to fresher looking skin. In Japan it is considered a huge compliment if a lady is called a “rice bran beauty.”
And last but not least on my list is rose hip seed oil which has a serious celebrity following. It is extracted from the seeds of a special variety of rose. It contains essential fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-Carotene, a form of vitamin A. It offers several benefits in addition to anti-ageing. It helps combat skin damage caused by UV rays such as age spots and skin discolouration and the oil is also a potential treatment for rosacea. Rose hip oil can also help to improve the appearance of scars.
There are many plant based natural oils available. The trick is to find the oil that works for your skin and what suits one may not necessarily suit another.
Always buy from a reputable source as there are many adulterated on the market and the price is usually a clue. Always opt for organic oils because they retain all of their properties.
Do you use oils in your beauty routine? If not which oils would you like to try?